Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake

If you’re wondering if you should make this, well, you should. It made my non-paleo friends even happy. That’s how you know you’ve done something right.

I do not feel well. Like at all. I did Fran yesterday and am coughing up things that remind me of oyster mushrooms. At least I like oyster mushrooms. I feel like I was run over by a large male. Or sacked by a small lineman. I don’t even know what that means. I just know that it tastes like pennies in my mouth and I didn’t PR in my time. Why does not pr-ing suck so bad? Why does it make you feel instant depression? I don’t get it. Whatever. Thankfully I get my hair done on Thursday so that will make everything better. It’s a scientific fact that people have better Fran times with well dyed roots.

The only thing that’s really important right now is that the last movie in the Twilight series comes out this week. I am just giddy. Thrilled. Enthralled. Bedazzled. Any odd word you can think of, that’s what I am.

I figured out the only reason why having a boyfriend would be nice. Fitted sheets. Putting on fitted sheets is really no fun by yourself. And it takes double the time. Maybe i can find a fill-in man just for that duty. I’m gonna keep my eye out.

And if I can’t find that, I’ll just eat Goodbody Baked Goods and act like those are my boyfriend. That doesn’t help with my fitted sheets, but I’ll survive. Anywho, I have closed the Goodbody Giveaway and sent the 3 winners emails. If your name is Lisa, Keely, or Alex, you better check your email, EVEN SPAM. I could be confused as spam. Pale OMG. That’s offensive to some. Even email.

And if you weren’t a winner, don’t you worry your little bum bum off. You can purchase Goodbody Baked Goods at Abe’s Market {NO LONGER AVAILABLE}.


Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • Yield: 4-6 1x



For the crust

For the filling

For the topping

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch of salt


  1. Let’s first make the crust!! Add walnuts to your food processor and blend until you get a meal, almost a walnut butter. Then add the rest of your crust ingredients and blend until well combined.
  2. Add crust mixture to an 8×8 glass baking dish lined with saran wrap, press down until evenly distributed and smooth on the top.
  3. Wipe out the inside of your food processor, no need to scrub, then add your cashews and blend until you begin to get a clumpy mess.
  4. Then add your coconut oil, lemon juice, vanilla extract and honey and puree until well combined.
  5. And lastly, add your coconut milk, 1 tablespoon at a time to break down the cashews completely. I used about 5 or 6 tablespoons for mine until the cashews became this soupy paste.
  6. Pour your filling onto the crust and use a knife or spoon to spread mixture throughout the entire pan, covering the crust, then place in the freezer for about 1-2 hours or until completely hard.
  7. When you cheesecake is almost hardened, add all topping ingredients to a food processor and mix until smooth and silky.
  8. Smooth out on top of your cheesecake.
  9. Place it freezer for about 30 minutes until everything has set.
  10. Cut cheesecake into cheesecake slices like I did OR bars, any size you want. The saran wrap will help you pull them out without destroying their gorgeous looks. Just pull on the side of the saran wrap and it will pop right out.
  11. Eat. Eat and remember how wonderful it is to be paleo.

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More Cheesecake!

New Year’s Eve Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

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Caramel Cheesecake Bars 


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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


100 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cheesecake”

  1. Yes! I made your caramel cheesecake bars for my birthday back in August and loved them! Ever since fall started, I’ve been dreaming about how I could incorporate pumpkin somewhere. Definitely making this!

  2. Husband is allergic to walnuts, but not cashews. Or almonds. Could I use almonds or cashews for the crust? Which one would you use?

  3. Juli,

    I can’t stand the texture of shredded coconut. Is ther e something I can substitute in for it? I would hate to have to cough up oyster mushrooms like you 🙂

    Also, can almonds be substituted for the cashews?

    And can almond milk be substituted for coconut milk?

    If all of these items are substituted, will the measurements stay the same? I would love to make this for a Thanksgiving lunch I’m attending.

    BTW, at the free Crossfit class I attended on Sunday, another newbie was asking questions about the diet of Crossfitters, and so the instructor started talking about Paleo. Which then led me to chime in and tell the newbie and the rest of the class to check out for awesome meal ideas 🙂

    1. Hey Danielle! I honestly don’t think the almonds will work instead of cashews, they are kind of a must for cheesecake texture/taste. As for the coconut, its kind of the binding agent, so it may be hard to change. I’m sorry!! But thank you so much for spreading the word!

      1. I would try using coconut cream instead of coconut flakes. If you use almonds it will just be more gritty but will still taste good.

        1. Coconut cream or coconut flour could work. I’m not crazy about the texture of coconut flakes either, but I like coconut flour.

  4. He Juls,
    So I want to make this for Turkey Day, but I’m traveling for the holiday. If I were to make this on Tuesday night would it still be just as scrumptious for Thanksgiving dinner?

  5. I’m new to the paleo lifestyle. joined crossfit about 2 months ago. I just wanted to say you rock! you make this all so easy and by sharing your recipes, i will MOST certainly be buying your cookbook. I have recommended you to a number of my friends who are considering changing up their diet. i hope you know what a gift you bring!

  6. who needs a boyfriend when you’ve got this awesome dessert! Besides, they fart, take up half the bed, and make bigger messes that they expect you to clean up .

    1. I got excited too! There are 8 Lisa’s who entered that giveaway. EIGHT of us… holy cow that is ridiculous. I don’t think it was me, though. Unless my email ate it…

  7. Ha! Got every ingredient in stock at home – so I’ll try this tomorrow.
    Will do “The Seven” tonight, so I’m pretty sure I’ll need aaaaall the calories.

  8. Thanks for the recipe, Juli. My boyfriend is a baby about putting the sheets on the bed, so it’s really no benefit to me. He is handy for taking out the trash, though!

  9. I did Fran the other day and had the SAME experience. Couldn’t stop coughing, kinda tasted like blood, and thought I was gonna die, and DID NOT PR! :/ I hate Fran, what i B*tch.

  10. I love your blog and this recipe – hello Thanksgiving! I was also CRYING laughing over the fitted sheet comment. I had a full blown single meltdown once upon a time over how annoying it is to put a fitted sheet on the bed alone. And in no way is that depressing…

  11. Oyster mushrooms and copper taste sounds like bronchitis or a lung infection. GO TO THE DR! Trust the lifelong asthmatic. Hope you feel better. Great recipe.

  12. My husband not only helps make the bed, but he can also FOLD fitted sheets so they are exactly the same size and shape folded as the flat sheet and fit perfectly in the linen closet. I can’t even tell which is which.
    I will reward his awesome skill with this cheesecake.

  13. I’m going to be “that guy” today and say that you can’t really call this a Cheesecake as it has no cheese. Though I’m glad it has no cheese, I think “Thanksgiving Pumpkin Coconut Cake” works just as well 😀 The texture of the filling looks insane though – mad props!

  14. I did fran yesterday too!!! and had that weird lung feeling all morning! Both me and my husband coughed for the rest of the day. crazy that such a short work out can do that

  15. OMG I’m a winner!!! Good thing I happened to check my SPAM for sh*ts and giggles! There you were Juli! Also, going to try this recipe this weekend as a test run for Thanksgiving! Sounds delicious! I just made the 5-Ingredient Breakfast Acorn Squash and baked the Lime-Cilantro Sweet Potatoe Fries. Both of them were EXCELLENT! Thanks for your great recipes Juli!

  16. Ha, if only my husband could help with fitted sheets… or laundry… or dishes… yeah men are great. 🙂

    Oh and I am not a winner, I checked my SPAM and all I have is ads for hook-ups and erectile disfunction.

  17. I cannot wait to make this pie! Oh, and I made the Sweet Potato Biscuits yesterday – I died. So. Good.

    The only reason I want a boyfriend – to clean my gutters. I did that this past weekend and it was scary as shit.

    1. I store it in the fridge, it gets a bit soft in there so if you’re not planning to serve it for a day or two, leave it in the freezer. If you keep it in the freezer, it does take an hour or so to thaw

  18. OOOHHH my gosh. I just skipped through the text and went right to the pictures because that pumpkin cheesecake pie looks SIMPLY delightful.

    *Adds pumpkin cheesecake pie to never-ending list of things to make for Thanksgiving*

    You, Juli, are a gift from heaven!

  19. I’m making this now. Ohhhhh my god the filling really is like cheesecake!!!! But so far my crust… its like butter…. spreading butter on saran wrap is nearly impossible. Maybe my choice of almond butter was extra oily. Should it be crumbly? I can add more coconut flakes to make it so…

  20. I am so excited about this! Slowly trying to convert my family to Paleo, and I think I might be hosting Thanksgiving, so now is the time for the full-frontal amazing tasting recipe assault! Thanks 🙂

  21. Thank you so much for a truly dairy free paleo cheesecake recipe! I am allergic to dairy (like need to use my Epi Pen allergic) and not just avoiding it because I am paleo/primal. Paleo recipes don’t always = dairy free! I can’t wait to try this out! 🙂

  22. This sounds like the best idea ever. However, I am cashew intolerant. Not allergic, per say. But ever since the 3rd grade when I ate a bag of cashews and then threw them up on my teacher (I raised my hand to ask if I could go to the bathroom and she told me not to interrupt so it was kind of her fault), cashews and I just don’t get along (tried a couple more times with the same result, minus the teacher).

    Anyway, any ideas for substitutes? I saw almonds were a no-go… any other nuts have the right texture? If not, maybe I’ll just make this for everyone else. 🙂

    New to paleo btw and love this site! Been pinning and printing your recipes like crazy.

  23. Thank you for the dairy free recipe!!!! You rock! Unfortunately my hubby is holding me back on this… He’s allergic to cashews!!! Is there a substitute for the cashews or should I just make this and eat it by myself? 🙂

  24. I feel like this recipe needs a round of applause…making this for turkey day!

    Empathize re: the boyfriend comment…”BAAABE! COME UP HERE AND HELP ME WITH THESE SHEETS!!!!!'” real sexy. hahaha

  25. Juli! It just occured to me that what your website needs now if a countdown clock to the cookbook release date 🙂 it’s advertising for anyone new to the site but it’s also fun for those of us who’ve been anxiously awaiting a cookbook from you! I’m not tech savy so I have no idea how much of a pain that is, but I thought it was a cool idea! Much love to you and this site!

  26. This was great!! Just need a bit more shredded coconut to make the crust drier because my almond butter was extra oily. I needed more honey for sweeter-ness. I think I will double the filling. My cheesecake filling only seemed to be half as tall as your pictures. The cashew “cheese” is the best part and really tastes like cheesecake. And because I wanted to transport this to my gym without smooshing the wet top, I dusted the top with a mixture of coconut sugar, coconut macaroon “powder”, and a hint of nutmeg. I think date sugar would be better. Thanks to JB, PALEO IS GREAT!!!!!!

  27. What would you use in place of the raw honey? I have a lot of Swerve and ZSweet – how much would I need to use in each step of the recipe? I can’t wait to make this!

  28. Thank you! Ive been eating raw vegan cheesecakes but could never make them cuz they always required a dehydrater! Do you think i could mix the pumpkin with the cashew filling or do they need to stay separate?

  29. OMG!!!! someone please take this cheesecake away from me. otherwise I’m going to eat the whole thing as a reward for my latest PR on Fran.

  30. Ok…. I just did the trial run before thanksgiving!!! It actually tastes like cheesecake!! And I trialed these on my neighbors 15 year old!!! AMAZING!! This one is definitely in!!! FOREVER!!

  31. Hey Julie- I just made two of these, prepping for Thanksgiving! I can’t get over how quick and easy they were to make… I’m actually gonna make one of them a pumpkin cheesecake like you’ve shown, and try my hand at making the other a cinnamon apple ;)… I can’t get over how fricken awesome the filling is!!!! You are amazing!!! Really wishing I could meet you- we could meet for some paleo treat cooking or a great CF workout,… Keep up the amazing work!!!

  32. OMG! My name is Keely too. Does that mean I won as well? I’m so frickin stoaked this website exists, it makes my heart smile everytime I read one of your random rants and raves. I’ve been crossfitting for 4 years however I started eating paleo 6 months ago, and your website has saved my life…or at least my hunger pains! Can’t wait for your cookbook to come out!

  33. I made this, but completely bypassed the “roasted” cashew part. Does it need to be roasted? 🙁 LOL, the pie is sitting in my freezer right now.

  34. question: i am kinda confused where the puree fits in. you listed it as part of the topping in your ingredients but you directed us to add it with the filling…i added it in the filling. whatcha think???

    1. Hey Leslie! I’m not sure where it says to add your topping with your filling
      “When you cheesecake is almost hardened, add all topping ingredients to a food processor and mix until smooth and silky.
      Smooth out on top of your cheesecake.”
      I hope it still worked out with it added to the filling!

  35. I’m making this for our family Thanksgiving and not telling anyone it’s Paleo! You are a genius, I keep licking out the bowl, and it is all so delicious. I also made the pumpkin bread for tomorrow morning’s french toast. It will be a paleomg day!

    I made your carmelized onion stuffing for our church Thanksgiving, and it was a huge hit!!!

    Thank you so much for all that you do!

  36. Happy Thanksgiving! I almost posted to FB this morning “I’m thankful for family….and PaleOMG recipes.” lol. I’m taking the bacon brussel spouts and this pumpkin cheescake to our get together. Last night, I couldn’t stop licking the food processor clean…not the sharp bits….

  37. So when you say wipe the inside of the food processor after the crust is done, you really mean scrape it with a spatula and eat all that remains, even if it’s just the littlest bit! Making this while watching the Macy’s Day Parade is making my Thanksgiving morning!

  38. OMG. I made this for Thanksgiving and it was hands down the highlight of the meal. I cut them up into smaller bite-size pieces, so of course I could justify eating twice as much. Ohhhh my goodness, it’s addicting.

    I also made your sausage stuffing and it was freaking incredible. Making this all. the. time.

  39. Just made this for my family tonight and they LOVED it! So grateful for the recipe- it helped my family join around something that is good for them at the end of Thanksgiving. Hooray to paleo!

  40. Made this tonight for dessert and it was AWESOME!!! Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for all the yummy recipes!

  41. I made this AGAIN. Without the pumpkin topping because this cheesecake is ohhh so damn good. With zero guilt. I topped beautiful pie slices with a blob of “whipped cream”. I used thick coconut cream that comes in small boxes. This and your caramel bars are my favorite recipes.

  42. SO mad at myself. I was out of almond butter and wasn’t paying attention at the store and bought peanut butter! WHY DO THEY PUT THEM NEXT TO EACH OTHER?! I didn’t notice until I made the whole thing too… ooops =/

  43. I made this for Christmas dinner this year as was blow away at how good it is. It really, honest to goodness tastes like cheesecake. It is super rich and super delicious. I would almost argue you could halve the honey in the filling if your paranoid about sugar.

  44. Is there something I could use instead of honey? I have an allergy to it and I’m trying to find a good substitute =/

  45. Love your site, LOVE this recipe – made it for my boyfriend last night as a “well done for week 1 of paleo” treat. I’m calorie counting as well on MyFitnessPal and from the way I made it, if this feeds 6 then that’s like 1000 calories a slice! Just as a heads up to anyone thinking this is a guilt free treat….

  46. Juli, I am the mother of a little boy who has severe food allergies. For 3 years now we do non-dairy, no soy, no tree nuts, and limit chocolate or use enjoy life chocolate, no dyes. My question is this, do you think your recipe above is easy to substitute the way we eat in our house? for example, instead of almond butter we do sunbutter, I was thinking instead of cashews I could use a mix of sunflower seeds and pumpkin. Just interested in what you think. Taking recipes and making them how we can eat is usually pretty easy, but I get a little nervous about new recipes I have never done, yet I am always loving trying something new cause then we don’t miss out on enjoying good food and other options. BTW you are awesome, I love watching your youtube videos and you inspire me so much, thank you for creating your website and sharing so much of yourself with everyone, you are really wonderful! ~Amy

  47. This is the BEST recipe I’ve made since joining the Paleo club a month ago. I had some limited ingredients, so made a couple substitutions. I’m allergic to walnuts, so hazelnuts worked nicely in the crust, and I was low on almond butter so I went half almond, half sunflower seed butter.

    The middle layer, you could pull that out and make it into “peanut butter bars” easily. The texture is amazing! And, I want to make the bottom & middle and top it with all kinds of other delicious flavors.

    That said, pumpkin is my favorite, so I went for it – and doubled the topping. The entire thing was INCREDIBLE and serves up so beautifully. Thanks!

  48. Thank you! I made this recipe from a different website for Thanksgiving dinner today and it omitted the pumpkin layer. The cheesecake is in my fridge and now I can add the best part.

  49. Re: Lungs on fire after Fran… I fee your pain.. Why does this ALWAYS happen? And without even achieving a PR… That sucks! I hope you managed to smash it with freshly dyed roots!
    I can’t wait to try this recipe this weekend for our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner we are hosting down here in Australia.. Some paleo folks, some not… I am sure it will be a hit either way!
    Thanks for always sharing such awesomeness!

  50. I made this for a recent holiday party; I knew we needed to make something special, the founders on the Non-GMO Project were coming to dinner! Their comments, “Are you a raw food chef?”, “This is the most satisfying dessert experience I have ever had!” FIVE STARS!

  51. Do you soak the cashews? Every other cashew cheesecake says to soak thm? Love to not have to!! Thanks!

  52. Your recipe instructions say to add pumpkin puree to the filling but it isn’t listed in the ingredients list. I wen t ahead and added it to the cashews and it made it creamier but I just winged it and was wondering what the actual amount should be. Thank you for your help!

    1. The pumpkin puree is for the topping, not the filling. Steps 3-6 are for the filling. After its been frozen you make the topping that includes the pumpkin puree in steps 7-9.

  53. LOVE!!!! Just made this for tomorrow and it’s in the freezer but I’ve licked all the spatulas as I made the 3 layers (naturally, right!?!) and omg…..I know it’s going to be amazing just by the “licking the bowl clean” 🙂 I’ll post pics tomorrow for sure! Thx Juli!!

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